We’re lucky in London to live in one of the greenest cities in the world. For a city this size, we’re spoiled for parks and tree-filled spaces.
But whilst London undoubtedly has some beautiful trees, they’re disappointingly normal when compared to some of their exotic foreign counterparts.
Prepare to have your mind blown by these six amazing trees from around the world.
Dragon’s Blood Tree
The incredible dragon’s blood tree, or dracaena cinnabari, is native to the island of Socotra, off the coast of Yemen.
The trees live on granite mountains and limestone plateaus and are part of Socotra’s unique flora – 37% of the island’s plant species are found nowhere else on earth.
The tree’s dense, umbrella-shaped canopy absorbs moisture from the air. The red resin which gives the tree its name seeps from the bark when wounded and has many traditional medicinal uses.
The sausage tree, or kigelia africana, is found throughout tropical Africa on riverbanks, floodplains and in open forest.
Its distinctive sausage-shaped fruits hang down from its branches and are toxic to humans.
Every part of the tree is used in herbal medicine – it’s believed to provide a cure for rheumatism, syphilis, snakebites, evil spirits and even tornadoes.
Ficus benghalensis, or the banyan tree, is a type of strangling fig native to India and Pakistan. In Hindu mythology it represents eternal life and is known as ‘the wish-fulfilling tree’.
Banyans start life growing on other trees, eventually enveloping them completely. At a certain size they send rope-like roots down to the ground, which take root, thicken and form additional trunks.
India’s largest known banyan is in a botanic garden near Kolkata. The 1,250-year-old tree has around 3,300 aerial roots.
The sandbox tree, or hura crepitans, is native to tropical regions of North and South America.
This evergreen tree is recognisable by the large, pointed spines that grow all over its smooth brown bark.
Its pumpkin-shaped fruits disperse their seeds by exploding forcefully, catapulting the seeds metres away from the tree. The sound of the explosion has led locals to call it the ‘dynamite tree’.
Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, is the only eucalyptus species found in an area spanning parts of the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
This unique tree sheds the outer layers of its bark to reveal striking, multi-coloured inner bark.
The inner bark is initially bright green, darkening and maturing to become purple, pink, blue, orange and maroon.
The bizarre-looking jabuticaba looks at first glance like some kind of joke. Native to south-eastern Brazil, this slow-growing evergreen grows grape-like fruits directly out of its trunk.
The purplish-black berries cluster tightly all over the trunk and can be plucked and eaten straight from the tree.
The fruits typically begin to ferment 3-4 days after harvesting, so are often used to make jams, tarts, wines and liqueurs.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these amazing trees. For more regular tree/environmental news, tree care tips and gardening guides follow us on Twitter.
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